The quest to start construction of 100 per cent made Nigerian vehicles is possible within the next five years, says Innoson Motors, if the Federal Government can live up to the challenge.
Chairman of the Nnewi based vehicle manufacturing outfit, Chief Innocent Chukwuma on a visit to the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu in Abuja on Monday, disclosed that 60 percent of materials used in Innoson vehicles are produced and sourced locally.
According to him;
“Our mission by the grace of God is to drastically reduce the prices of vehicles and cut down the country’s dependence on imported vehicles. We did it with motorcycles, we can do it again with motor vehicles.”
He assured the minister that the company will help government reach the goal set for Nigeria to become one of world’s twenty industrialized nations in the year 2020.
Chukwuma however, outlined some important hurdles faced by the manufacturing sector in the country, urging government to tackle the problems.
“To make these challenges less difficult, we wish to humbly make the following requests: Our major request is to help us with accessing foreign exchange to enable us source raw materials/components needed from overseas so as to keep and maintain our over 7,200 employees.
“Efficient power supply will power the over 100 industries that have made Nnewi the Taiwan of Africa; and we wish to also request for a government policy to ensure that home-made goods are protected and patronized by all levels of government and her agencies.”
In his response, Dr. Onu thanked the Innoson Motors for their efforts in aiding government’s initiative to invest in Nigerian vehicles and goods.
He assured Innoson that government would support the company to achieve 100 percent local production, also that as soon as the budget is out the Minister of Science and Technology will only drive cars made in Nigeria and vehicles in the Ministry of Science and Technology and all 17 agencies, will be directed to patronize Nigerian made products.
“There is no other way that Nigeria can become a great nation except when we Nigerians patronize Nigerian vehicles and other products. It has worked in other countries and it will work here, all we need is to make sure that the minimum standard is maintained.”
The Minister also noted that producing every component in-country would mean “there will be so many small and medium scale industries that will spring around the him (Innoson Motors) to produce parts that will support what he is doing and this way we will be in a position to lift many people out of poverty and our quest for technological development will be easier to satisfy.”
“We are very happy that the Chairman, founder and chief executive officer of Innoson Motors is a Nigerian that he is very proud to be a Nigerian and he is ready to do whatever it takes to make sure that the image of our country is made far greater than it is today,” he concluded.